The fall of the Roman Empire

After the fall of the Roman Empire, Europeans fell into what is sometimes called the “Dark Ages.. Throughout the early period, Europe was not as advanced as places such as the Islamic Empire and China. How is it during the early modern period did Europe rise to create empires that dominated the world in the 16th and 19th centuries? What do you think was key to the European growth/success? Please consider the prologue from Guns, Germs, and Steel